LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby ConstanceR46 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:38 pm

Opinions? I don't think this could really go wrong, aside from not taking the opportunity to reopen South Farmingdale.
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:12 am

Should have been done when the 3rd rail was extended to KO.
Will need 1 substation to power the Central Branch and that siding at Wellwood,along with ASC,ACSES,261 signaing! :wink: l
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby milepost39 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:50 am

They should electrify and extend it all the way through to Mitchel Field/Garden City again. :-D :wink:
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby Crabman1130 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:31 pm

ConstanceR46 wrote:

Opinions? I don't think this could really go wrong, aside from not taking the opportunity to reopen South Farmingdale.

They would have to move South Farmingdale to the old Liberty Aircraft site if there is going to be parking.
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby krispy » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:36 pm

They had planned it back in the big electrification, but ran out of $. They had laid ties with extra long ones with room for 3rd rail every 4th tie in the hopes that it would be done some point in the future. Trust me, they had wanted to do this for decades, but until recently the tight budgets have precluded it.
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby Head-end View » Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:15 pm

I hope it happens this time. It will give the LIRR very useful flexibility with electric service that it does not have now, especially when there is a disruption.
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:12 pm


I am in agreement with all here and think that the Central Branch should have been electrified
years ago and with that addition add flexibility to both the Ronkonkoma and Babylon Branches.
Third rail ties have been placed on this line for many years in anticipating future electrification.

More then likely there will be no new stations added along with a Central Branch electrification.
What that would require will be for those Montauk Branch trains to use this route instead of to
operate on either the Main Line or Babylon Branches as they do now.

South Farmingdale only had two to three trains per day stopping there towards closure of the
station. The only places in which any new Central Branch station stops would make sense is
either near where NYS 110, Southern State Parkway or Sunrise Highway intersect. Most of
the Central Branch either goes through industrial or residential areas in which any adequate
parking facility would not be possible - or would encounter NIMBY opposition.

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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby MattAmity90 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:18 pm

I'm up for the idea, it would not only be for convenience, but it would help the environment in the long run, and the investment would pay off over the long haul. Think of all the diesel fuel the LIRR will save, the amount of noise pollution reduced, and the departure and arrival times being quicker. Of course $18 Million a Mile was a figure in 1987, and of course today it would cost at least $27 Million a Mile since they would have to convert all 6.8-miles of track from wood to concrete ties or essentially replacing the track. Of course there is signals, upgrades, possible station, substations, and inflation.

It's about time though that the branch should be electrified, and the only station I can think of is something similar to Pinelawn near the Wellwood Avenue or the New Highway crossings.

As for the Port Jefferson Branch, if it is approved, I would do it in phases instead of all at once.

Phase 1: Huntington to Northport (includes adding a second track and platform for Northport).
Phase 2: Northport to Smithtown.
Phase 3: Smithtown to Port Jefferson.
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby workextra » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:25 pm

We all pretty much agree that this project has been a need and a want for operations for years.

I would like to say that you can’t use 1960s-70s era data for the stations on the branch.
Similarly the way we see it on the West Hempstead branch, there would be some Parking, but mostly these stations would be geared toward those using other than the personal car for transportation.
Off the bat we have,
South Farmingdale,
North Lindenhurst- (wellwood ave) which would have parking and service as a park and ride as well as a local neighborhood stop.

And there’s one location I think that would benefit the local neighborhood somewhere else for a total of 3 stations.
My opinion is that we should be polling the locality and see what the neighborhood says if they would use these stations or it’s not worth the money to rebuild them.

The same applies to Bayport and Blue Point on the Montauk Branch.

Any thoughts?
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby MACTRAXX » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:22 am

WE and Everyone:

1-Agreed. Old data about South Farmingdale from many years ago is simply outdated.
2-A new North Lindenhurst Station on Wellwood Avenue is an interesting thought.
The surrounding community should be contacted and polled as mentioned to measure support.
3-Having more than one new station on the Central Branch would defeat its purpose as a fast
link between the Main Line and the Montauk Branch.
4-Off the Central Branch topic but mentioned: Bayport and Blue Point were closed because of
not only low ridership that they were close between Sayville and Patchogue (4.1 miles)
Sayville 49.8; Bayport 51.5; Blue Point 52.6 and Patchogue 53.9 (miles from LIC)
5-There is going to be major systemwide schedule changes when ESA finally opens for service.
New stations where there is demand could then be added...MACTRAXX
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby northpit » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:43 am

Poll the neighborhood to see if they want a new RR station? With the No mentality here on LI, better chance of a new Walmart . Stations are closed not because of low ridership They are closed because trains don't stop there
put it on the north pit
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby docsteve » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:33 am

A couple of notes:

In their last years of use, the South Farmingdale, Landia, Grumman, and Republic stations were serviced by one train each way daily, an eastbound in the morning and a westbound in the afternoon. These were reverse-commutes for factory workers (note: therefore no parking required).

The long ties on the Central Branch were in place with the Huntington electrification (1970s): it was assumed that the next electrification would be Hicksville to Babylon; also, I was told at the time (I was an LIRR employee around the time) that long ties were the norm for all new tie installations, but I never knew how far east that policy extended, assuming not all the way.
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby 4behind2 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:27 pm

The Central Branch was supposed to be electrified in the early 1970's, but like everything else, budgetary constraints banked it.

Operationally, it would be a win-win.

Republic actually had excellent ridership westbound in the am commute, mostly short riders.
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby NIMBYkiller » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:38 pm

I don't think anyone here thinks this is a bad idea or even not worth doing it. I am in the camp of people who believe a new station or 2 should be added to this, which ever location or 2 are furthest from the existing LIRR stations. Also, while parking is important, I think the fact that it passes through industrial areas may be a potential source of ridership, so a location that serves both would be beneficial. Along the whole line, the only open parcels of land I see on Google Maps satelite view are at Albin Av (water authority there?), Wellwood Av, between the ends of Carolyn and Adams Blvds, and by Stop and Shop in South Farmingdale. Of those, my first choice would be Wellwood Av. 2nd choice would probably be Carolyn/Adams, but only if a bridge could be built over the tracks where Wendys currently is on 109 to give better access to/from 109. Both have jobs that can be walked to and are far enough from other stations to potentially draw in new riders driving in from nearby neighborhoods (or at least away from other stations partially quelling whatever parking issues may exist at some of them).

New stations would only make sense though if there was enough service, and having everything to/from E of Babylon rerouted to the central/main and stopping there probably isn't a good solution. So then the question is whether or not there will be enough main line capacity for another level of electric service (Babylon via main/central). If this were possible, it could also take over some of the main line station responsibilities that Huntington trains currently handle, or even supplement them.
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Re: LIRR to Electrify Cent. Branch

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:25 pm

I am definately for third rail installation on the Central Branch. For one thing, if there ever was a major issue on the Babylon Line where both tracks were taken out of service, electric trains could be rerouted but this might be a negative idea because the train would basically skip all of the stops on the Babylon. On the other hand, maybe there could be regular service utilizing electric trainsets from Babylon running via the Central Branch and Main Line serving stops on the Main Line. This would enable passengers who live in the Babylon area as well as along the Montauk Line to commute directly to cities on the North Shore like Mineola. Obviously, there are a few diesel trains that use the Central on weekdays and they stop at Mineola but it would be nice to have more trains, especially electric ones, to do that. It's not all about commuting to NYC from LI. There are other cities on Long Island that people work in as well who might want to depend on more train service if it were available and this is a very good reason why I think the third rail should be added on the Central Branch.
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